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Low upper limits on the O2 abundance from the Odin satellite
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2003 (English)In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, E-ISSN 1432-0746, Vol. 402, L77-L81 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

For the first time, a search has been conducted in our Galaxy for the 119 GHz transition connecting to the ground state of O2, using the Odin satellite. Equipped with a sensitive 3 mm receiver (Tsys(SSB) = 600 K), Odin has reached unprecedented upper limits on the abundance of O2, especially in cold dark clouds where the excited state levels involved in the 487 GHz transition are not expected to be significantly populated. Here we report upper limits for a dozen sources. In cold dark clouds we improve upon the published SWAS upper limits by more than an order of magnitude, reaching N(O2)/N(H2) <= 10-7 in half of the sources. While standard chemical models are definitively ruled out by these new limits, our results are compatible with several recent studies that derive lower O2 abundances. Goldsmith et al. (\cite{SWAS2002}) recently reported a SWAS tentative detection of the 487 GHz transition of O2 in an outflow wing towards rho Oph A in a combination of 7 beams covering approximately 10arcmin x 14arcmin . In a brief (1.3 hour integration time) and partial covering of the SWAS region (~65% if we exclude their central position), we did not detect the corresponding 119 GHz line. Our 3 sigma upper limit on the O2 column density is 7.3x 1015 cm-2. We presently cannot exclude the possibility that the SWAS signal lies mostly outside of the 9\arcmin Odin beam and has escaped our sensitive detector. Based on observations with Odin, a Swedish-led satellite project funded jointly by the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the National Technology Agency of Finland (Tekes) and Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES). The Swedish Space Corporation was the industrial prime contractor and is operating Odin.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 402, L77-L81 p.
Keyword [en]
radio lines: ISM, ISM: molecules, Galaxy: abundances
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-30916DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20030344OAI: diva2:274758
Available from: 2009-10-31 Created: 2009-10-30 Last updated: 2011-02-15Bibliographically approved

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Floren, H. G.Larsson, B.Liseau, R.Nordh, L. H.Olofsson, G.Sandqvist, Aa.
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Department of Astronomy
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